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8 Easy Ways to Market Your Rollforming Business

Looking for easy ways to market your rollforming operation? Find out 8 low-cost marketing strategies to boost your sales.

Rick Zand February 14, 2024

It’s crucial to market your rollforming business to attract new customers, especially when starting a roofing or gutter operation. Once you’ve established yourself, word of mouth can be your best advertising. Meanwhile, you can consider some marketing ideas that require little investment.

At New Tech Machinery (NTM), we’ve helped businesses in the roofing and gutter industry since our first portable rollformer came out over thirty years ago. We make it our mission not only to build the best machines on the market, but also to support our customers’ growing operations.

In this article, you’ll learn ways you can generate business through simple marketing techniques. In most cases, it’s more about the effort you’re willing to put in rather than the dollars you need to spend. So, if you’re looking to spread the word and save a dime, here are eight helpful ideas.

SSQ II on a jobsite.

1. Harness the Power of Social Media

Social media platforms provide valuable ways to connect with your target audience, share your expertise, and showcase your work. Identify which platforms your audience frequents the most, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) or others, and establish a strong presence.

Regularly share visually appealing content, such as:

  • Project photos
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses
  • Educational posts

YouTube also provides a great way for potential customers to engage. It takes a little more work, but even short clips that demonstrate a new roofing innovation or procedure can get your audience’s attention and help establish you as a thought leader.

With available apps, you can videotape, edit, and post all on your smartphone, even adding subtitles and voiceover. Also, further engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and inquiries.

Try a short video:

  • Highlight a project you’ve completed
  • Givie product advice
  • Talk about metal roofing, wall panel, or gutter trends in your area
Chalkboard showing benefits of social media and marketing to customers.

2. Build an Engaging Website

Having a website is great, and you can create your own easily and cheaply these days with the built-in tools many providers offer, or pay an expert to create a nice site with plenty of slick features. Remember, you still must drive potential customers to the site. Maybe you already have one online, which means the heavy lifting is already done. Now you just need to generate some traffic. If that’s a case, look at the section on Online Advertising for more ideas on how to gain website exposure.

You can gain traffic by using QR codes in your advertising so that potential customers can link right to your website using their mobile phones. This way, they can see all your options and information in one place.

Be sure to include:

  • Captivating images
  • Meaningful content
  • Pricing
  • Contact information
New call-to-action

3. Place Traditional Ads

Traditional marketing methods have to a large extent, disappeared. Not many of us have the daily paper delivered to read over breakfast or even tune into a local radio station on our way to work. However, distributing flyers, ads in local free papers, and posts on community bulletin boards can still be effective for a local market. Also, you can place ads in trade publications, usually for reasonable rates.

If you belong to a roofers or builders association, they may offer discounts for you to print ads in their publications. Remember to include contact information on all materials. If you have a website, include a QR code.

These can include:

  • Newspaper ads
  • Trade publications
  • Local free papers
  • Community boards
  • Flyers
Trade magazine covers, with one open to advertising pages.

4. Try Online Advertising

There are plenty of ways to advertise online, from social media to sponsored Google ads to pay-per-click on host sites. Usually, sponsored sites will help you choose demographics so that you can target a specific group. If you’ve noticed ads in your social media or news feed that pertain specifically to your occupation, age, interests, or location, then you know you’re part of a targeted demographic.

With online advertising you should be careful to budget. It’s easy to spend money—a lot of money—on internet ads. Many sponsored ads won’t cost anything until someone clicks on one and then you’re paying per click, which could add up if it’s five, ten, or fifty dollars per click.

Make sure to place limits on spending anytime you create an account. Start with a small investment, like $20 or $30, and see what happens. If you get some response, it may be worth pursuing.

Hubspot offers a free guide, template, and planner for Google Ads.

Some CRM systems offer marketing as part of their service. This includes Google and paid ads and SEO (search engine optimization) to generate new leads.

5. Beat the Pavement

Some of us when we were kids sold chocolate bars door-to-door to raise money for our athletic department or a school club. Of course, no one wants to knock on doors only to have them slammed in their face. Timing is important. 

For example, you might choose the late fall, when gutters need cleaning. Cleaning gutters can be an entry to bigger jobs, and since it’s seasonal work, you can focus on it for a relatively short period, leaving you the rest of the year to install gutters or metal roofs, ideally getting some work from the customers whose gutters you cleaned.

You could also offer to perform roof inspections. With a drone, you don’t even need to get on the roof to find any damage. Now there are companies that offer analysis of roofs using drone images. For a monthly subscription price, you can enter the pictures into their software and it will pinpoint damage due to wind, hail, or other factors.

Door-to-door marketing. Salesman talking to a woman at her front door.

6. Attend Trade Shows

National trade shows provide a great opportunity for networking, learning about new trends and technologies, and educating yourself about the industry through panel discussions and by meeting contractors and suppliers. If you can’t make a national meeting, like IRE, METALCON, or Gutter-Con, look for a local roofing or gutter event in your area.

Trade shows allow you to meet other contractors as well. Sometimes you’ll meet someone from another location who knows a contractor in your area. Collect names and contact information. Take the initiative and be a collaborator.

7. Join an Association

Joining a local or national roofing association is a great way to make connections, and you’ll find opportunities advertise on their websites and in their trade publications. Also, you’ll be able to access resources like podcasts, libraries, and courses, plus get discounts on some events.

Associations also provides great networking opportunities. The best marketing is done by building relationships. Those successful in the roofing and gutter businesses have partnered with others in the industry. For example, working with construction companies that subcontract for roofing or gutters can offer a regular stream of business.

The more contractors you partner with, the more business you can generate. Here, persistence pays off. Keep in mind, you have to build rapport and earn the trust of contractors so that they want to give you their business, and sharing membership in an association provides opportunities to do that. Prove that you deliver high-quality work on time and at a fair price.

MetalCon 2023 marketing sign

8. Advertise Specials

You can also promote yourself by offering discounts. Of course, you’re in business to make money, so don’t give away anything you can’t afford. But if you can cut 10% off your price and still make a profit, you could draw business away from your competition.

Also, think about your demographic. You might advertise a senior discount if you’re near a retirement community where people live on a fixed income. You could post an ad in their community paper or on their website, or post a flyer where everyone can see it, like near the community center.

How Much Marketing Does My Business Need?

You can apply as many or few of these ideas as you like in your marketing strategy. Some companies have the money to put up billboards while others nail flyers to telephone poles. However, it’s usually a combination of strategies that finds the most success.

In the end, it will depend on your interaction with the customer. Customer service can come in a variety of ways. It proves to the people you serve that you care about their needs and you’re willing to go the extra mile. It shows that you’ll take the time to educate them and that they’re getting the best quality panels or gutters at a fair price. A happy customer will be your best advertising. Also, you can get testimonials to use on your website and literature.

Once you build momentum, you can look at expanding your operation with another rollforming machine. At NTM, we offer free training for all new machine owners and their operators at our plant in Aurora, Colorado. You can contact one of our account managers for more information about our machines and accessories.

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